Your InFinance Publication

FINSIA’s InFinance keeps you up-to-date and in-the-know. 

60 seconds with Michelle Bagnall, Suncorp customer propositions

by Matthew Smith | 18 Apr 2017
We've read your title, now tell us how you would describe to a friend at a BBQ what you ACTUALLY do?
Suncorp entrusts my team and I to put our customers’ needs at the centre of the decisions we make. My team makes sure that product or price is not the most important decision — rather the most important part is the customer’s needs and how we can help solve a problem for them.60 seconds Michelle Bagnall
What's the biggest factor that's shaping your industry right now?
Ultimately the biggest factor is changing consumer behaviour and the impact this has on both people we work with and also the customers we serve. The impact of digitally driven solutions, for both insurtech and fintech, cannot be underestimated for organisations and their people. We are equipping them to enable them to lead into this changing future and think differently about where opportunities will emerge.
What led you to pursue your career path in the first place and can you remember where and when the light bulb came on?
I landed in financial services incidentally and if I’m honest I could have landed in any number of sectors. My light bulb moment came thanks to an outstanding executive coach I had while I was in London who asked me about how I saw myself as a leader: “Do you have a vision? Or do you just want to be in charge?”. Since then my driving motivator as a leader has always been to create an environment where my people can feel like they’re adding value and contributing to outcomes.
To what extent have your career goals changed/remained the same?
I have let go of other people’s expectations of my career.  My career goals have been shaded by comment about “how far” other people think I can go — primarily linked to title and status. Inherently I don’t have a paradigm of thinking “I’ve made it” and can rest on my laurels. I am fascinated by the changing world around me and the opportunity to “be better”.
What is the one thing you would have done differently in hindsight getting to where you are now? 
Listen more. For as much as I thought I valued feedback, and acted on it, I am still realising the value of feedback I was given 20 years ago. If you open your mind to the ideas and views of others, without always feeling totally vested in it, you will see things from another angle. 
Who is your most influential or inspirational professional influence and why? 
I am immensely grateful for the mentorship, coaching and guidance I’ve received from a number of great leaders throughout my career. I’d have to say my first great mentor who showed this faith in me — who showed a sense of trust in my judgment and who expected me to be continuously better — was my own mother. I think I’ve translated this gratitude into leadership that empowers others to create greatness. 


Share this